Frustrated Macarthur FC coach Ante Milicic has called for tougher action as he sweats on scans to the Bulls’ star signing Ulises Davila following a crunching tackle in a 1-0 win over the Central Coast on Sunday.
Milicic’s men remain undefeated to start their A-League Men season after a wicked deflection off Oliver Bozanic in the 45th minute from a Davila shot found its way into the back of the net.
The Bulls have yet to concede from open play this season, but Milicic’s main bone of contention was a meaty tackle from Mariners fullback Jacob Farrell that left the floored Mexican needing a lengthy period of treatment.
“He’s not OK,” said. “Now that you’ve brought it up, I’m extremely disappointed that, first and foremost, a challenge like that to the league’s best player doesn’t get punished.
“It’s been happening far too often and Uli is not feeling the best in there. He’ll go for scans immediately.
“That kind of challenge, for me, is totally unacceptable and for that to not get punished in the right way is frustrating.
“The hit was that bad on the ankle that he moved in a direction where he now feels a great deal of pain in his knee.”
Farrell was booked for the incident in the 83rd minute but Mariners coach Nick Montgomery saw no issue with the collision.
“I thought he won the ball, Davila turned into him,” Montgomery said.
“But you’re asking the wrong person here with some of the decisions we’ve had the last couple of games.
“I think that injury was six minutes on its own. I don’t want to sound bitter, but there should have been more injury time.”
Both sides were good value in the opening 20 minutes but the game took a twist when Mariners goalkeeper Yaren Sozer, who was standing in for the suspended Mark Birighitti, pulled up with a suspected torn hamstring.
In his place, 17-year-old Lawrence Caruso, who didn’t even have a profile on the club’s website, was called into action.
The Bulls soon had their breakthrough, but there was nothing Caruso could do when Davila’s shot flew off Bozanic into the net on the stroke of halftime.
Central Coast’s best opportunity at finding an equaliser came with a little more than a quarter of an hour to go when Nick Montgomery’s side broke quickly.
Brazilian forward Moresche burst into the box but stood on the ball as he attempted to finish past Bulls goalkeeper Filip Kurto.